Coral Cup Race Card

Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)

1st
Barry Geraghty

Dame De Compagnie

Age: 7
Weight: 10.9
OR: 140
J:
 
Barry Geraghty
T:
 
Nicky Henderson
midfield, headway 5th, not fluent 6th, always going well, tracked leaders approaching 2 out, shaken up to challenge before last, led narrowly run-in, ran on well and asserted towards finish
2nd
Davy Russell

Black Tears

Age: 6
Weight: 11.1
OR: 144
J:
 
Davy Russell
T:
 
Gordon Elliott
tracked leaders, travelling well before led approaching last, headed narrowly run-in, outpaced by winner towards finish
3rd
Kevin Brouder

Thosedaysaregone

Age: 7
Weight: 10.8
OR: 139
J:
 
Kevin Brouder
T:
 
C Byrnes
midfield, headway approaching 3 out, switched left when chasing leaders approaching last, edged left run-in, stayed on same pace final 100yds
4th
Gavin Brouder

Cracking Smart

Age: 8
Weight: 11.8
OR: 153
J:
 
Gavin Brouder
T:
 
Gordon Elliott
held up in rear, steady headway before 4 out, ridden and stayed on approaching last, kept on under pressure run-in, not pace to trouble leaders
5th
Richard Johnson

Honest Vic

Age: 7
Weight: 10.9
OR: 140
J:
 
Richard Johnson
T:
 
Henry Daly
tracked leaders, ridden and every chance approaching last, soon unable to quicken, kept on under pressure towards finish
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Third race of ladies day

The Coral cup is the third race on day two of the Cheltenham Festival. It follows the two Grade One’s that open the card and is the first of the handicaps.

The race is run over 2 miles, 5 furlongs and there are 10 hurdles for the runners to tackle. The race is open to horses aged four and above and the handicap mark to get into the race differs each year.

The race, despite being a handicap, is a grade 1, with Grade 3 status and the winning connections collect £56,000 in prize money

History of the Coral Cup

The race is called the Coral Cup as it has always been sponsored by the bookmaker and there is no sign of that changing anytime soon.

The first running of this handicap hurdle was in 1993 and has featured at the festival ever since. It started out as just a handicap race however was promoted to Grade 3 status for the 1999 festival.

Martin Pipe won the inaugural running in 1993 with horse, Olympian and in turn received a £50,000 bonus having won the Imperial Cup at Sandown, the Saturday before and that race often delivers horses that then go straight to this, just days later.

Recent years

William Henry pipped Willie Mullins’ Wicklow Brave on the line to win the 2019 running foe Nicky Henderson and Nico De Boinville at huge odds 28/1.

It gave Henderson a third win in the race, which means he’s now won top alongside Martin Pipe for Coral Cup wins, the pairs three wins came with the following horses:

Martin Pipe:

Olympian (1993)

Big Strand (1997)

Ilnamar (2002)

Nicky Henderson

Spirit River (2010)

Whisper (2014)

William Henry (2019)

William Henry’s success also meant a second win in the race for Nico De Boinville who was also abroad Whisper in 2014. However, Davey Russell has been successful on three occasions which makes him the most successful jockey in the race. The Irishman has been successful on the following horses:

Davey Russell:
Naiad de Misselot (2008)

Carlito Brigante (2011)

Diamond King (2016)

The race is often a difficult handicap for punters to solve and that is shown by the prices of the winners. There has been no winning favourite in the last 10 renewals and the last four winners have all returned at 12/1 or bigger so it may be worth keeping an eye on the bigger priced horses and searching for extra value. A race like this will also see bookmakers pay extra places.

It would also be advised to pay close attention to any of Nicky Henderson’s runners, especially if they have the services of Nico De Boinville whilst an Irish challenger ridden by Davey Russell should also be subject to attention.

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